Assure Consulting attended the FlexSA (Flexible Space Association) Conference and Exhibition in London on 7 September, notable figures within the flexible space industry presented on key topics of interest to the industry.

Some providers within the flexible space sector have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, in particular the government’s directive to work from home. However, there is now a mood of optimism and excitement within the industry.  Many are anticipating a increased demand for flexible office space to suit the new working arrangements that many companies are implementing.

There were several key themes arising from the conference:

• Anticipated strong demand for office space outside of city centres and closer to employee’s homes. The key drive for this is to reduce the time spent commuting.
• Increasing emphasis on the ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) agenda and going further in efforts to reduce emissions. Larger corporate occupiers will expect this.
• Enhanced use of technology is enabling a seamless service to employees. Who are required to work at different locations on a regular basis.
• Re-purposing of town and city centre space to provide flexible workspaces, facilitated by the introduction of Planning Use Class E.
• A potential opportunity to realise the concept of the 15-minute city. The ability for a resident to reach every facility within 15 minutes on foot or by bike.

These themes will present some interesting challenges to flexible space operators who occupy multi-tenanted buildings. Detailed and transparent conversations will need to take place between occupiers, landlords and all those involved in managing commercial property. This will help achieve the balance of keeping occupancy costs low, as well as meeting future requirements of occupiers.

As well as attending the FlexSA Conference we have produced benchmarking figures for the office occupiers sector. To see how your charges compare to the Assure Index click here to download your free copy.

Assure Consulting are a specialist Service Charge Consultancy that provides management and auditing services on behalf of occupiers seeking to reduce their property outgoings. We act for some of the largest global flexible space operators and our approach has given rise to significant savings over the past 12-18 months, influenced by COVID and other factors relevant to these most challenging of times.